Friday, April 18, 2014

Personality Chef Carla Hall

Toot. Toot! Honk. Honk! Ah-Ooh-Ga!

Dexter Enjoys Carla's Reading
      That was Carla's call out from her first book Cooking with Love: Comfort That Hugs You.  It's what she says when she wants to give herself a pat on the back.  At the recent book signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers for her second book, Carla's Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World, her fans were ready to give her plenty of pats and

kudos!  She wowed and entertained as only she can with a literary reading of an excerpt from the book, and then returning to what she does best…just talking about food and how to cook with love.

      We first took notice of Carla when she was our favorite contestant on season 5 of Top Chef.  Her comical spin on things and natural culinary talent made her the front runner to beat.  A win wasn't in the cooking pot, but we continued to follow her whenever she would return to Bravo for special outings and Top Chef: All-Stars.  Then we discovered that she had started a mail-order cookie business, Alchemy by Carla Hall, that pairs savory and sweet flavors.  That still seemed too tame for our personality chef so when she landed as one of the co-hosts on The Chew, we knew she had found her calling.  Fortunately, the cookie company is still in production as well as the popular daytime show.

      Her latest book emphasizes world cuisines and how taking a favorite recipe can be altered to reflect flavors of different cultures by simply replacing a few ingredients.  The emphasis is on spices with one of the handiest elements of the book defining them in a graph by countries and regions of the world.  It's all presented in the simplest possible form in an exquisitely designed book with meaningful shots of Carla and food.  The recipes are completely doable and her sidebar tips explain "why and how" ingredients are used.  This time around it's all hugs and spices!

Carla Signing Our Book
For Carla's cookies, visit:

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